Prime suspect in kidnapping whose sidekicks died arrested
LAFAYETTE - A man wanted in connection with a kidnapping case that involved authorities in West Baton Rouge has been arrested.
Lawrence Michael Handley was arrested in Slidell Friday afternoon. He will be transferred to Lafayette Police custody, authorities said. A U.S. Marshals Task Force, a special group of agents who hunt down the most wanted suspects, found Handley at a hotel around 4 o'clock.
Handley is tied to the kidnapping of a woman a week ago Sunday in Lafayette. He was arrested on a warrant for conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping, attempted, second degree kidnapping and violation of a protective order. Authorities said previously he and the victim had a domestic issue.
After the woman was kidnapped, she was found in a van following a police chase ending in West Baton Rouge. The two men who were driving her around were later found dead after drowning in the Intracoastal Canal.
The Advocate, which staffs a newspaper edition for Lafayette, reported Handley was the co-founder and former CEO of Townsend, a chain of addiction treatment centers. The business sold for $21 million two years ago.
In the latest report, authorities have said the pair of men who drowned in the Baton Rouge area had taken the woman from her home in Lafayette where she was handcuffed, covered with a bag and forced into the van she was later found to be riding in with the men. A juvenile in the home was also handcuffed, according to The Advocate.
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